By Pam Martin
On September 12, 1992, Devin Augusta Kleckner, my first granddaughter was born. Following two very complicated pregnancies with only one live birth, the doctors had anticipated that my daughter would have serious problems with this one, too. Surprisingly, not only did this one proceed without serious problems but the delivery itself was fairly easy. Devin’s father and I were told that she was fine and that there were no problems. Within a matter of four hours we would not only be told that she was dying, but that they honestly didn’t know what to do to save her.
As I waited outside the neo-natel intensive care unit, my daughter and son-in-law by their daughter’s side, I began to visualize all of the things this small child would never see, of all the wonders she would never know.
As I prayed for her life, it wasn’t for years or decades. But, rather, it was for just one more hour. Just one more hour in which to tell her all about God and all the beauty he created for mortal man. To tell her about the gift he gave to us of his Son who died on Calvary for sinners like me. To tell her about all the wonders God left here on earth; and of the love I have for God, before she had to leave. Just one more hour, please.
Lord, I asked, in just one hour I could paint her pictures of the Bible she’ll never read; of her Mother’s face she’ll never see. I could sing to her the hymns she’ll never sing; and, tell her of the promises of the Bible that we mortals sometimes take for granted.
Lord, I pleaded, let me have just one more hour to hold her with these earthly arms; You see you’ll have her for all eternity. Let me share with her the joy of seeing a new day bloom, and of the colors of the horizon as the sun begins its descent at the end of the day and of the moon as it begins to rise at sunset. And of the sounds the ocean makes as it breaks on the beach. Let me tell her of the thrill of seeing the first snow flake as winter’s morning wakes. Or the first blades of grass as spring brings new life to this world she would never know.
Just one more hour to assure this small child that when she left this earthly realm that she would be with her Heavenly Father. And that although those she left behind would mourn her leaving, we would know that there were no better hands that she could be in. That we loved her and would miss her and that her leaving would leave an empty place in all of our lives. Was I asking too much, Lord, for just one more hour? I knew that children are only on loan to us, but she was only a few hours old. Was it too much to ask for one more hour to tell her a lifetime she would never know; just one more hour in which to let her go?
Six days later for reasons her doctors did not understand, Devin’s condition had improved to the point that she was removed from the critical-intensive care list to stable condition. She went home when she was twelve days old. There were people in four congregations praying for his small child; praying that if it was the Lord’s will that she would be healed. One in every million babies are born with some measure of Devin’s problem. Hers was so severe that she deteriorated from healthy to extremely critical in less than two hours. That fragile baby is now a healthy little crawler with a one hundred percent perfect bill of health.
Our children are on loan to us from God. In modern day language, if you fail to take care of a loan then you must pay the penalty. If we fail properly to take care of the loan God has given us of our children, we will pay a very heavy penalty when the final judgment comes to pass. Never forget the heartache that can and will occur in this lifetime if we fail our children spiritually.
Have you taken care of your precious loan? Have you treated it as though it were the most precious thing you could ever receive? Or, have you neglected your loan to the point that you are now in default? If so, it is now time to refinance your loan and start anew today with the support of God and his word to show you the way he wants his children to live. Remember, children do learn what they live and you never know if this is indeed your last hour.
Don’t find yourself begging for one more hour to make right with your children what you have had a lifetime to do as the years have passed you by.
(Written after the birth of my granddaughter. What at first appeared to be a time of great joy quickly turned into a drastic test of my faith. A few short words brought me face to face with how quickly a young life can end.)
Guaridan of Truth XXXVII, No. 22, p. 22
November 18, 1993